Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

July 17, 2012

Bizarre Bazaar

I went to the Sandwich Bazaar for the first, and probably the last, time.  It was worth it to try it out I guess.  But live and learn.  In retrospect I should have done a reconnoiter the week before to see if this would even be my kind of place but I didn't, so, my bad.

I should have known I was off to a bad start when my alarm clock failed to go off at 4:30.  I'd gone to bed at 11 but tossed and turned out of nerves for awhile.  I last checked the clock at 3, and did the deadly "if I go to sleep now, I'll get 1.5 hours of sleep...." thing, which ends up keeping you awake longer because now you've psyched yourself out.  The next time I looked at the clock, it was 4:52. Ho-lee CRAP!  20 minutes after the alarm was supposed to go off!  I bolted out of bed to let the puppies out, jumped in the shower and left by a few minutes after 5.  Thankfully I'd packed everything the night before and even had my clothes to wear waiting in the bathroom.  *coughanalretentivecough* 

Turned on the TV for the puppies and selected their daily programming which is usually the USA Channel (don't ask), jumped in the car and bugged out of BBay.  First let me just say that seeing the sunrise made the early morning quite worth it.  I will post those pics separately.  I had to shoot and drive, and I so wish I'd had the chance to pull over and do it right b/c they are all blurry.

Well I get down to Sandwich at 5:30 and there's already a line up to get in, pulled off to the side of the road, so I pulled in, turned off the car and got out to look around.  It was held at the field near the old Hewlett Packard Camp off Quaker Meeting House Road.  The vendors I saw lingering outside their cars were mostly old couples, some with their cute little doggies, making small talk with each other.  One saw my Vancouver BC tshirt and asked if I'd been.....I told him yes and I'd been in Washington for 12 years and he told me about his and his wife's cross country trip last year and how they stayed at Mt. Baker, and how blown away they were by the mountains and Mt. Rainier.  They'd gone up to VanCity for the day and loved it.

The gates opened at 6 and I drove in.  People were parking in such a way that it perplexed me.  I didn't know what to do so I just picked a place, parked and unpacked.  I then realized I'd made a crucial error in where I chose to set up, but I was now committed to that space.  I had placed myself right in the middle of the open field, facing east into the rising sun.  That was the second sign this wasn't meant to be.  So far the weather was cool, not too humid, somewhat cloudy.

I should have driven out towards the trees and set up with my back against them.  Even if I'd gotten into the next row, it was still shady and would have been facing west too.  So I set up my tiny card table, lost among people that do this flea market stuff for a living.  I saw more older couples setting up together and it hit me that I would love to do this stuff too, with Russell,  but with flea market items as well as some of my crafts.  Just get an RV, put our household crap in storage and travel around the USA doing flea markets.  I saw a camper out by the trees with the couple set up under an awning.  I sent Russell a text telling him I wished it was us and he texted back, 'Me too'.  

It's now taken me a grand total of 20 minutes to set up, so it's not quite 6:30, but there are already early bird shoppers, hovering around vendors and negotiating prices.  As I looked around at the shoppers, I realized that my stuff does not speak to that particular demographic:  Old men in overalls and their sons and/or grandsons, or grey haired ladies who have tagged along with their husbands, that may, or may not, have female grandchildren that might like a necklace. I was now kicking myself for not packing my book and reading glasses because clearly, it's gonna be a long morning.  I'm sooooo bored.  I wander over to the table next to me, hoping they sell old books, any book, that I can buy & read while waiting, but they didn't have any.

Bored now.

The more vendors that set up, the more I realize that 'one of these things is not like the others' and that thing was me.  This place is not the variety that I was expecting at all.  I had heard it was a little of everything - craft show, flea market, fresh produce.....kind of like the old Fairfax Festival I used to go to in California or the Puyallup Farmers Market in WA.  This was a flea market only.

If I had the time, and the money, I would have wandered around to see who was selling what because I saw lots of neat stuff.  The lady next to me set up beautiful glass pieces.  Very small blue willow pattern tea sets and pretty, sparkly glass.  Some people across from me were selling old bottles.  I also wisely realized that I shouldn't be wasting money I don't have on more bric-a-brac I don't need or have room for.   I made small talk with the glass lady next to me....she was super nice. From Brockton, comes down to Sandwich every Wed. to do this show, spends the other days of the week doing other flea markets. 

Some of my beadies in the sun.

My friend Ginny texted me where she was set up and I could see her.  She sells vintage clothes, postcards, advertising stuff, etc. and made a $150 sale pretty quickly after setting up.  Ginny came over to visit real quick.

I had a few people stop by and chat.  All were nice; all were looking.  There was one girl though....she kind of made me sad....She was very interested in the melted crayon art.  I'd have to say she was 13 or 14.  What she said shocked me.  She mentioned wanting to do it but her father probably wouldn't let her do it in his house.  I joked to her, 'well you can buy one of these already made!' and she said that she'd tried something like this once, brought it home and her father said, 'get this out of my house'.  She really looked wistful and lingered quietly, staring at the melted crayons.  I felt bad for bad that I wanted to just give her one instead of asking her to pay, but I didn't.  Anyway, she had pamplets and was giving them out.  I took one and gave her my card. When she left, I read it, and it was a flyer for someone in Plymouth running for office.  I can only assume that it's her father.  Not that I can vote in Plymouth County, but I wouldn't vote for him on the sole reason that he doesn't support the arts, or small craft people.  And I'm sure he'd be pretty angry with her for telling me what he said.

By 9 the clouds had burned off and the sun was burning me.  I applied my SPF 50 and put my hat on but I was roasting and getting nauseous.  Kept sipping my water and getting up to try and get relief from the sun.  While it was a lovely day and not terribly hot and humid, sitting still in the sun was brutal.   Finally I took my umbrella out of my car and put that up over my head but it wasn't helping.    I texted Russell that I was clearly out of my element and I didn't know what to do....stick it out and hope it got crowded enough to make sales later on, or go home.  He texted back to go home and chalk it up to experience.  I decided he was right.....they hadn't come to collect the money for the table and I didn't wanna pay $25 if I wasn't gonna stay, so I started packing up to leave.  I hear a familiar voice saying, 'You're leaving already?'  I turn around to see Diane and her daughter Maddie (they're up from MD for 2 weeks).  I was shocked to see her there so early....I had planned on texting her not to come b/c I was leaving.  I explained why I was taking off, and she helped me get my stuff in the car so I could leave b/f the money was collected.  She had a beach umbrella with a stand in her van that she offered to let me use but I told her no thanks, I was gonna take off.  I was home by 9:30....exhausted, a little frustrated but not feeling as bad as I thought I would, self-esteem/rejection wise.

The Sandwich Bazaar is really cool, but just not for crafters.  Later on Ginny told me that there were a couple people selling jewelry near her car but their stuff wasn't as good as mine.  She didn't indicate if they'd made any sales.  And I would have stuck it out had I not been in the full-on sun. But like Russell said, chalk it up to experience and now I know that I really need to concentrate on craft fairs, not flea markets.

Better luck next time!


  1. Anonymous9:51 AM

    Bummer, especially after you got up so early too. Maybe there are some specialised places you could take your wonderful crafts??

  2. Getting up in the 4 o'clock hour's inhuman!!! And I can't blame you for bailing - roasting under a hot sun is NOT my idea of a good time either, plus I'm sure it'd make me sick. Blah.
    Some Dark Romantic

  3. Craft markets come alive again in the fall. Good luck.

    BTW - it's easier to see the bad omens in retrospect. Hot sun would get me too.

  4. 4.30 happens twice in one day? Wow! Even when I had the chickies I restricted my early mornings to 5am.

  5. JoJo I am sorry the Sandwich show did not turn out so well for you!! From what I could see you make some beautiful jewelry!!
    I have set at our local flea market all day and not made any money. I don't know why people just are not into crafts anymore. Your jewelry would probably do well here!

  6. well it's nice descriptive stuff - rather early to get up, though

  7. I love that you put the TV on for your puppies! They must love Psych - I know I do. LOL

    I went to a flea market yesterday that was quite disappointing...

  8. Thanks all! I agree getting up at that hour is just insanity. I won't do it again. The only time I did it with ease were the times I had to catch the ferry to Canada, of course Canada was great incentive for me to do anything.

    I definitely think I'll stick to indoor venues for upcoming craft shows/fairs! I'm not a summer person.

  9. The last outdoor craft show I did, the paramedics had to be called for me around 1pm. The heat got to me. AND, I was assigned a place in the full sun in Alabama in the August sun.

    At the end of the day, I had drank a two liter coke and 2 liters of water and did not pee for 14 hours. It was that hot.

    I hear some craft fairs are getting to be like flea markets with imported things. Can you put your work on consignment in a local boutique?

  10. Or, you could sell wholesale. I did that after stopping craft shows. I actually made more money even though I made more items. Cut out gas, motels, eating out some, car maintenance plus the stress. I was more than happy to make less per item and not get up so early to start the day, then stay late and never be rested, ever for years.